AMALAKI (Phyllanthus emblica, Emblica officinalis)

AMALAKI (Phyllanthus emblica, Emblica officinalis)

What is apple to the West, Aamalakee is to India. ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away’. True! But India’s Aamalakee fruit does a lot more than what apple does! If I say Aamalakee not only keeps the doctor away but also death; it will not be an exaggeration!! 
The term Aamalakee means ‘the sustainer’. 
Because of its anti aging and rejuvenating properties Aayurveda extols Aamalakee. Because of its beneficial effects it is described as “Dhaatree” meaning “a foster-mother" or "a nurse". Isn’t it a laudable tribute to the fruit as the ultimate caregiver, sustainer and healer liken to the ‘Mother Earth’? It is highly revered for imparting Oja i.e. resplendent radiance, (luster or sheen) or “vitality” or “vigor” to the eyes, skin and hair to any one who consumes it; I would say an admiration well deserved!! [1]
After studying the effects of Aamalakee the Ayurvedic scientists deduced an aphorism, ‘Aamalakee pathyaanaam shreshthaa’ which means Aamalakee (Emblica officinalis) is salubrious (agreeable or good for one’s health, health promoter, health giving) par excellence. 

No wonder then, to admire this valued plant, the Government of India released a postage stamp on April 07, 2003. [2]

Fruits of Aamalakee were considered as Amrit phala (nectar fruits) during Vedic era.
 In Chinese Aamalaa fruit is called Yuganzi or Anmole. The Chinese use Yuganzi (Anmole) to cure pharyngitis.   
Other/ Names

Latin Name/Botanical Name/Scientific Names: Phyllanthus emblica L, Emblica officinalis Gaertn. Cicca emblica kurz, Myrobalanus emblica Burm, Phyllanthus mairei Lev
Sanskrit: Aamalakee, Akara, Aamalaa, Aamalaka, Amritaphala (ambrosia), Aatriphala, Brahmawriksha, Shreephala, Dhatrika (nurse), Dhatreephala, Gaayatree, Manda, Pancharasa, Raadhaa, Shitaa, Shiva (beneficial to all nature), Shambhupriya, Sudhaa, Wajram, Wilomee, Wrushya, rochani,   Tamaka,  Tishyaphala, , vayastha (retaining youth), shiva (beneficial to all nature)
English: Indian gooseberry, Embelic, Emblic Myrobalam, Malacca tree
Arabic: Halilaj, Ihlilaj
Assamese: Amlakhi, Amlaki
Bangla/ Bengali: Amloki, Amlaki, Aamloki
Burmese: Mai kham
Chinese: Yu gan zi
French: Groseille a maquereau indienne, Groseille nepalai se
German: Ambla-Baum, Myrobalanenbaum
Garo: Amabare
Gujarati: Aamalaa, Aamarana, Aamalak
Hindi: Aamlakam, Aamalaa, Aamalakee, Aanwalaa, Anola, Avola, Bahumoolee, Brahmawriksha
Kannada:  Nellikkaai, Aamalakaa, Betta nelli, Dodda nelle
Khmer: Kantouot prei
Konkani: Aawaalo
Laotian: Mak kham bom
Malay: Melaka, Melakka, Kemoloko (Java), Pokok melaka
Malyalam: Nellikka. Nelli
Manipuri:  Amla 
Marathi: Aawalaa
Mizo: Sunhlu
Myanmar: Zee phyu thee
Nepali/ Nepalese: Aamalaa, Rikhiya
Odiya:  Aanla, Anula                                             
Punjabi: Olay, Aula, Nelli, Aanwala
Russian: Fillantus emblica
Sinhala: Nelli
Spanish: Mirobalano, Neli
Tamil: Nellikkai, Aamalakee, Amritaphalam, Attakoram, Citrottam, Civai, Kattuu nelli, Nelli, Topu nelli, Totti
Telugu: Usiri or Usirikai, Amalakamu, Asiri, Dhatri, Nelli
Thai: Makham pom, Kan tot
Tibetan: Sky ru ra
Urdu: Aanvlaa (Awala)
Vietnamese: Me rung, Me man, Mac kham [3], [4], [5], [6]

Taxonomic Classification

Kingdom: Plantae
(Unranked): Angiosperm
(Unranked): Eudicots
(Unranked): Rosids
Order: Malpighiales
Family: Phyllantheae
Tribe: Phyllantheae
Subtribe: Flueggeinae
Division: Flowering plant
Class: Magnoliopsida   [7]
Geographical distribution
This magical nutritional giant was discovered in the Himalayan mountain region by ancient Indian sages. Now a tree of Asia found predominantly in the forests of India, Sri Lanka and Myanmar. It is also found growing in villages and lowland deciduous forests. It is cultivated in gardens, home-yards or grown as a road side tree. It is not a very hardy tree as it is sensitive to frost and can not stand draught. It is normally found up to the altitude of 1500 meters. It is grown by seed germination. It can also be propagated by budding or cutting. The cultivated plants bear comparatively larger fruits. [8]
Plant Morphology
The two types of Amalaki that are available are: the wild variety (wanya); and the cultivated variety (graamya). The berries of the wild version are smaller with large amounts of fiber; those of the orchard version are larger, succulent and smooth.



Wanya Aamalakee                                                           Graamya Aamalakee                            
(Phyllanthus acidus)                                                     (Phyllanthus emblica)                              


  Wanya Aamalakee                                                             Graya Aamalakee           
                                                     Aamalakee tree

Wanya Aamalakee                                                                Graya Aamalakee      

                                               Aamalakee tree-trunk

Wanya Aamalakee                                                             Graya Aamalakee

                                              Aamalakee leaves                            

 Male and Female Flowers  
of Wanya Aamalakee                                                      Flowers of Graamya Aamalakee             


Wanya Aamalakee  Fruits                                                       Graamya Aamalakee Fruits

Macroscopic Morphology

Here I describe the morphology of gramya variety

Tree is small to medium sized, reaching 8 to 18 m in height. The Tunk is crooked, greenish grey with spreading branches. The branchlets are glabrous or finely pubescent, 10-20 cm long; usually deciduous.  The Bark is gray to black in color, peels off easily in thin strips or flakes, exposing the fresh surface of a different color underneath the older bark; the average girth of the main stem is about 70 cm; the main trunk is divided into 2 to 7 scaffolds very near the base.

Leaves light green, 10 to13 mm long, 3 mm wide; simple, subsessile, closely set in pinnate fashion along branchlets imparting the branches feathery appearance; develop after the fruit set

Flowers are monoecious (unisexual), greenish-yellow; 4 to 5 mm in length, growing in axillary clusters of 6 to 10 (inflorescence), having a very small stalk, gamosepalous (gamosepalous=having the petals united or joined so as to form a tube or cup) having 6 lobes at the top; stamens 1 to 3, polyandrous filaments 2 mm long; pistillate flowers (flowers having female organs) fewer, having a gamopetalous corolla arid a two branched style; both staminate flowers (flowers having male organs) and pistillate flowers are borne on the same branch, but the staminate flowers occur towards the apices of small branches.   

Fruit is nearly spherical, fleshy, 1.5 to 2.5 cm in diameter, 5 to 7 g in weight, about 5 ml in volume; light greenish yellow, quite smooth with six vertical stripes or furrows. Ripening in autumn

Seed (stone) six ribbed, splitting into three segments, each containing usually two seeds; seeds 4 to 5 mm long, 2 to 3 mm wide, each weighing 572 mg, 590 microlitres in volume, citron green in color [10], [11], [12]

Microscopic Structure

Transverse section of mature fruit shows an epicarp consisting of single layer of epidermis and 2-4 layers of hypodermis; epidermal cell, tabular in shape, covered externally with a thick cuticle and appear in surface view as polygonal; hypodermal cells tangentially elongated, thick-walled, smaller in dimension than epidermal cells; mesocarp forms bulk of fruit, consisting of thin-walled parenchymatous cells with intercellular spaces, peripheral 6-9 layers smaller, ovoid or tangentially elongated while rest of cells larger in size, isodiametric and radially elongated; several collateral fibrovascular bundles scattered throughout mesocarp consisting of xylem and phloem; xylem composed of tracheal elements, fibre tracheids and xylem fibres; tracheal elements show reticulate scalariform and spiral thickenings; xylem fibres elongated with narrow lumen and pointed end; mesocarp containslarge aggregates of numerous irregular silica crystals.

Fine powder shows epidermis with uniformly thickened straight walled
isodiametric parenchyma cells with irregular thickened walls, occasionally short fibres and tracheids. [13]

Parts used
Fruit in Indian medicine and root in Chinese medicine. All parts of the plant are used in various Aayurvedic herbal preparations.

Although fruits are reputed to contain high amounts of ascorbic acid (vitamin C), 400 to 500 mg/100g of pulp, the overall antioxidant strength of Aamalakee may be derived from its high content of ellagitannins such as emblicanin A, emblicanin B, punigluconin and pedunculagin. It also contains punicafolin and phyllemblin, bioflavonoids and superoxide dismutase (SOD) one of the most powerful cellular antioxidants.
Essential therapeutic chemicals and the other master molecules make this fruit a mainstay for Tibetan healers and Indian herbalists.
Independent schools of medicine and pharmacy have determined a broad spectrum of useful chemicals.
Fresh fruits contain gallic acid, gallotannins, ellagic acid, chebulagic acid, chebulinic acid and amino acids, polyphenols, kaempferol, quercetin and trace minerals.
Aamalaa contains excellent amino acid concentrations in large amounts in addition to a wide range of naturally occurring phytonutrients and essential amino acids.
Minerals: Fe, Ca, Mg, K, silica.
Vitamins: C, nicotinic acid, B12, Carotene, Riboflavin
Dried fruits have tannins and 3-4 colloidal complexes. Other components are phyllemblic acid, lipids, emblicol, mucic acid, gallic acid, ellagic acid and glucose.
Seeds contain a fixed oil, phosphatides, some essential oil with linolenic, linoleic, oleic, stearic, palmitic, myristic acids. Seeds also contain D-glucose, D-fructose, Myoinositol, Pectin, D-galacturonic acid, D-xylosyl, L-rhamnosyl, D-glucosyl, D-mannosyl, Embicol.
Aamalakee is one of the richest sources of vitamin C. Its fresh juice contains nearly twenty times the quantity of vitamin C as orange juice. Vitamin C content of a single Aamalaa is equivalent to that in two oranges. Natural vitamin C is more quickly assimilated than the synthetic vitamin. [14], [15]

Classification of Chemicals found in Fresh Fruit of Aamalakee (Emblica officinalis)

Phyllanthine, Phyllemblin, Phyllantidine
Amino Acids
Glutamic acid, Proline, Aspartic acid, Alanine, Cystine, Lysine
Vitamin C, Nicotinic acid, Vitamin B12, Carotene, Riboflavin
Kaempferol, Quercetin
Organic Acids
Citric acid
Phenolic Compounds
Gallic acid, Methyl gallate, Ellagic acid, Trigallayl glucose
Hydrolysable Tannins
Emblicanin A and B, Punigluconin, Pedunculagin, Chebulinic acid (Ellagitannin), Chebulagic acid (Benzopyran tannin), Corilagin (Ellagitannin), Geraniin (Dehydroellagitannin), Ellagotannins

Iron, Calcium, Magnessium, Sodium, Potassium, Silica


Identity, Purity, Strength
Foerign Matter: Not more than 3 percent (Including seed and seed coat)  
Total Ash: Not more 7 percent
Acid-insoluble ash: Not more than 2 per cent
Alcohol-soluble extractive: Not less than 40 per cent
Water-soluble extractive: Not less than 50 per cent [17]

(2) Standards accepted by I.P. in 2010
Tests Foreign organic matter: Not more than 3 per cent.
Ethanol-soluble extractive: Not less than 30 per cent.
Water-soluble extractive: Not less than 40 per cent.
Total Ash: Not more than 5.0 per cent.
Acid-insoluble ash: Not more than 2.0 per cent.
Heavy metals: 1.0 g complies with the limit test for heavy metals.
Loss on drying:  Not more than 12.0 per cent, determined on 5 g by drying in an oven at 105º.
Microbial contamination:  Complies with the microbial contamination tests.
Assay-- Determine by liquid chromatography [18]

Cytological Identity
16 Chromosome counts in Emblica officinalis Gaertn [19]

Genetic study 
By using RAPD marker method the genetic identity of Emblica officinalis has been established accurately. [20]
Limitations of morphological and phytochemical identification of medicinal plants have created the needs for identification of correct genotype. Recently DNA based markers for identification of Emblica officinalis have been developed. Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA (RAPD) technique is used to generate Sequence Characterized Amplified Region (SCAR) marker specific for Emblica officinalis [21]
Popularly known as amala, two species viz. Phyllanthus emblica (Emblica officinalis) and Phyllanthus indofischeri are like dead ringers. Their morphology and reproductive features are so identical that they are cultivated sympatrically in commercial orchards. Introduction of unauthentic clones and seedlings and differences in the growth of these two species under different elevations are the major constraints in identification.
What is amalake in Ayurveda is taxonomically Phyllanthus emblica/ Emblica officinalis. For want of taxonomical identification though Phyllanthus indofischeri is sold as aamalakee, taxonomically it is adulterant!
Having studied the morphology, vegetative and reproductive features under different elevations, the researchers developed a simple molecular tool for precise identification of these two species based on single nucleotide polymorphism in trnL (UAA) intron sequences of chloroplast DNA. The genomic identification has confirmed that aamalakee orchards have 76% population of Phyllanthus indofischeri and 24% of Phyllanthus emblica. I apprehend then aamalakee (aamala) sold in commercial market is adulterated and not taxonomical P. emblica/ E. officinalis! [22]

Safety Tests

No safety data for each specific species of herb is available. Here are general guidelines: 
Heavy Metals:
Arsenic:         Not more than 5.0 mg/kg
Mercury:        Not more than 0.5mg/kg
Lead:              Not more than 10.0 mg/kg
Chromium:    Not more than 0.3 mg/kg
Microbial Limits:
Total bacterial count:                                  Not more than 105cfu/g
Total yeast and mould count:                     Not more than 104cfu/g
Bile tolerant gram negative bacteria:          Not more than 104cfu/g
Specific Pathogens:
Salmonella spp:                        Absent in 25 g
Escherichia coli:                     Absent in 1g   
Staphylococcus aureus:         Absent in 1g          
Pseudomonas aeruginosa:     Absent in 1g [23]

Properties and Pharmacology

Ayurvedic properties
Ganas (Classical Catagories)
Charaka Ganas: None 
Sushruta+Ganas: None

Rasa: (Taste): Madhur (Sweet), Amla (Sour), Tikta (Bitter), Katu (Acrid, Pungent), Kashaaya (Astringent)
Weerya/Virya (Energy State): Sheeta (Cooling)
Wipaaka/ Vipak (End result, Post digestive effect): Madhura (Sweet)
Prabhaawa/ Prabhav (Special Effect, Prominent Effect): Tridosha Shaamaka (Pacifies three Doshas), Rasaayana (Adaptogen)
Note: Here I wish to clarify the meaning of these technical words:
Virya (Weerya): Potency, power, vigor
Vipak (Wipaak): After digestion change of taste. The food we take is acted upon by jatharagni (digestive activity) and the taste of the food changes. The original rasa (taste) changes to vipak (new or same taste.)
Prabhav (Prabhaawa): Effect, prominent, peculiar or special action of an herb; innate and specific property.

Gunas (Qualities): Laghu (light),

Rooksha (severe, harsh, haggard, drying effect etc.), 

Sheeta (cooling), 

Ruchya (enhances interest in food),

Anulomana(prokinetic, carminative), 

Sara (laxative), 

Deepana- agniwardhak (appetizer), 

Paachana (digestant), 

Swedahara (reduces sweating), 

Medohara (reduces fat, lowers cholesterol, useful for the treatment of obesity), 

Chakshushya (beneficial for eyes and eyesight), 

Twachya (improves luster and glow of the skin), 

Kushthaghna (?’cures’ leprosy), 

Keshya (beneficial for hair growth), 

Wayahsthaapaka (age-stabilizer, anti-aging), 

Dehawidhaarana (sustains dhaatus, tissues so as to maintain youthfulness and prolong good quality of life), 

Paushtika (nurtures tissues), 

Balya (imparts strength to tissues), 

Jarawyaadhiwinaashana-rasaayana ( delays aging, prevents and cures many illnesses, adaptogen). Due to sheeta weerya and madhur wipaaka it increasea virility, 

Wrishya (aids in seminal ejaculation), 

Waajeekara (aphrodisiac), 

Shukrala (increases production of sperm and semen)     

Effects on Doshas:  Pitta, Kapha, (mainly) and also Waata.
Passifies three Doshas: Waata by virtue of amla-rasa (sour taste) and madhura-rasa (sweet taste), Pitta by virtue of madhura rasa (sweet taste) and sheeta weerya (cooling effect) and Kapha by virtue of kashaaya rasa (astringent taste) and rookshatwa (drying effect)        

Actions on Dhaatus (Tissues): Rasa (Lymph), Rakta (Blood), Maansa (Muscles), Meda (fat), Asthi (Bones and Skeleton), Majjaa (Bone marrow), Shukra (Semen)

Actions on Srotas (Systems): Mainly Hemopoetic System
The Ayurvedic text Bhav-Prakash describes Aamalakee as:

हन्ति वांत तदम्लत्वात् पित्तं माधुर्यशैत्यतः |
कफं रुक्षकषायत्वात् फलं धात्र्यारित्रदोषजित् ||    

Free rendition: By virtue of its sour taste, the fruit of Aamalakee pacifies Waata, by sweet taste and cooling property pacifies Pitta and by astringent taste and drying property pacifies Kapha.  [24]

Some more information from the research on Ayurveda

1. Enhances food absorption
2. Relieves hyperacidity
3. Supports and strengthens the functions of the liver
4. Beneficial for the functions of the nervous system, enhances mental functions, cognitive function, intelligence and memory (acquisition, retention and recall)
5. Imparts luster and sheen to the skin, lightens the complexion and prevents premature wrinkling,
6. Improves the color and texture of hair
7. Strengthens lungs, prevents upper and lower respiratory infections
8. Beneficial to heart and circulatory system
9. Enhances immunity
10. Cytoprotective, benefits diabetic and cancer patients 
11. Flushes out toxins
12. Enhances vitality and fertility
13. Very potent adaptogen, rejuvenator and prevents premature aging [25]

Modern View

The taste of Indian gooseberry is sour, bitter and astringent. Chew the pulp for a while and sip water thereafter. All the pristine tastes will vanish and a sweet after taste will dominantly linger in the mouth. (What is the explanation? The saliva digests starch in the berry to dextran and to some elementary sugars.) 
Though an apple provides an important antioxidant vitamin C, as well as anti-allergenic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-viral benefits; this magical nutritional giant from the Himalayan Mountain may be set to take over the US health market.
Aamalakee fruit is known for an extremely concentrated source of Vitamin C and immune enhancing chemicals. Ascorbigen molecules are inherent in Aamalakee fruit. The ascorbigens are a part of the tannin group creating a protective capsule surrounding the master Vitamin C molecules, which elevates Aamalakee fruit as a major Vitamin C nutrient source versus more common and less healthy synthetic vitamin varieties.
Aamalakee fruit is known for the potent combination of gallic acid, ellagic acid, plus emblicanin A and emblicanin B. Working together thicombination can be a source for reducing common oxidative stress and cellular stress, scavenging immune-dangerous free-radicals and a mild natural detoxification of the body.

Molecular formula: C15H10O7
Structural formula:

Quercetin is a flavonoid (plant pigment) exhibiting a wide range of biological and pharmacodynamic activities. Quercetin is found in fruits, vegetables, leaves, grains and various types of honey. It is found in red wine, onions, green tea, apples, berries, Ginkgo biloba and St. John’s wort. It mainly occurs in plants as glycoside such as rutin. It occurs in tea as quercetin rutinoside. It is used in beverages and as a food supplements. Quercetin exhibits many actions similar to those of rutin.

Quercetin belongs to a group of nonsteroidal compounds known as phytostestrogens derived from plants. In plants they are involved in energy production. In mammals they exhibit strong antioxidant properties. Its important pharmacological action is vasoprotection for which it is incorporated in vasoprotectant herbal proprietary preparations.

Quercetin is anti-inflammatory (hence used in fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis and gout). It is anti-oxidant, anti-microbial and anti-viral. It inhibits reverse transcriptase, part of the replication process of retrovirus. It is anti-allergic. Hence is used in hay fever, bronchial asthma and eczema. It is used to treat diabetes and metabolic syndrome. It is monoamine-oxidase (MAO) inhibitor. It is used in treating dyslipidemia and atherosclerosis. It is also used to boost immunity, increase endurance and improve athletic performance.    
Quercetin competitively binds to bacterial DNA-gyrase. Hence it is contraindicated with some antibiotics especially fluoroquinolones.       
In-vitro quercetin impairs angiogenesis and steroidogenesis in swine granulosa cell tumor. It does not directly affect the granulosa cell growth. It inhibits progesterone production and modifies estradiol production in the dose related manner. In addition, by inhibiting VEGF production it interferes with the process of angiogenesis. [26], [27] 

Cadmium is one of the potent cardiotoxic heavy metal in the environment. It induces oxidative stress, dyslipidemia and membrane disturbances in cardiac muscle. In rats cadmium was administered at the dose of 5mg/kg/day for 4 weeks to induce toxicity. The cardiotoxicity was indicated by dyslipidemia, increased levels of cardiac marker enzymes such as creatine kinase-MB, aspertate transaminase, alanine transaminase, alkaline phosphatase and lactate dehydrogenase in serum. The levels of lipid peroxidation, SOD, catalase, GSH in the heart were significantly increased and the levels of non-enzymatic antioxidants such as glutathione, vitamin C and vitamin E were significantly decreased. But the rats treated simultaneously with 50mg/kg/day with quercetin were significantly protected as was evident by biochemical parameters. The histological study also confirmed the biochemical findings. [28]

Quercetin is a flavonoid found in Aamalakee (E. officinalis). By inhibiting HCV NS3 protease activity quercetin acts as an anti-HCV agent. Quercetin inhibits HCV RNA replication. This activity of quercetin is dose dependant. Can Aamalakee be used to treat HCV infection? More research work is necessary in this regard. [29]

The quercetin paradox

Acting as antioxidant, quercetin protects tissues. The metabolites generated during the process are harmful to many other tissues. This is the dark side of the bright coin, quercetin. Quercetin protects the lung cell line against oxidative damage but the products of this process react with GSH (glutathione) lowering its concentration. This depletion of GSH can be harmful. This is ‘The quercetin paradox”. It is human tendency to use benevolent antioxidant in higher and higher doses; but the point to ponder is, high doses of quercetin do not alter plasma antioxidant/oxidant balance i. e. REDOX status (REDuction - OXidation status). On the contrary, higher doses of quercetin can be detrimental to the body tissues. (The quercetin paradox)

Additional information:

While protecting against free radicals, quercetin, the free radical scavenging antioxidant is converted into oxidation products. The main oxidation product of quercetin displays a high reactivity towards thiols, which can lead to the loss of protein function. The quercetin paradox is that in the process of offering protection against free radicals, quercetin is converted into potential toxic products. The quercetin paradox in living cells implies that quercetin directs oxidative dmage selectively to thiol arylation (introduction of one or more aryl groups into a compound). In short the quercetin paradox means the exchange of damage caused by quercetin and its metabolites in living lung cells.

Therefore the potential toxicity of metabolites formed during the actual antioxidant activity of free radical scavengers should be considered in antioxidant supplementation. [30]

That Ayurvedic drugs are safe, having no side effects (untoward reactions) is a myth. No sane practitioner shall fall in the trap of this dictum and cross the limit of recommended dose of any Ayurvedic drug.

Gallic acid
Molecular formula: C7H6O5
Structural formula:

Gallic acid is a type of phenolic acid found in gallnuts, sumac, witch hazel, tea leaves, oak bark and other plants. Salts and esters of gallic acid are termed gallates; but it does not contain gallium. 

Gallic acid was first studied by the Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele in 1786. The French chemist and pharmacist Henri Braconnot devised the method of purification of gallic acid from galls in 1818. [31] 

Gallic acid shows anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral (especially against rhinovirus that causes common cold) and antifungal activity. It shows antimutagenic effect and anti-cancer properties.[32], [33] 

Gallic acid possesses significant anti-inflammatory properties and prevents the expression of inflammatory chemicals including cytokines and histamine. Therefore gallic acid may be used to treat allergies. 

Antioxidant property of gallic acid can protect the liver from toxic effects of hepatotoxic chemicals and metabolites. 

Fungi such as Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus produce aflatoxin. Gallic acid has the ability to inhibit the enzymes responsible for the production of aflatoxin by fungi, thereby acting as an antifungal agent. 
Gallic acid can trigger the secretion of insulin by the pancreatic cells thereby helping diabetic patients.

A study published in “Pharmaceutical Research” showed that gallic acid produced apoptosis in prostate cancer cells. However the results have not been proven in actual clinical practice. [34] 

Mechanism of action of Gallic acid: 

Gallic acid inhibits activation of NF-kB and Akt signaling pathways along with the activity of COX, ribonucleotide reductase and GSH.

Gallic acid activates ATM kinase signaling pathways to prevent the processes of carcinogenesis. The inhibitory effect of gallic acid on cancer cell growth is mediated via the modulation of genes which encodes for cell cycle, metastasis, angiogenesis and apoptosis.

The data so far available indicates that gallic acid could be a promising agent for cancer chemoprevention. [35]

Gallotannins also known as Tannic acid
Molecular formula: C76H52O46
Structural formula:

Ellagic acid is a natural polyphenol antioxidant.

Ellagic acid was first discovered by chemist Henri Braconnot in 1831. Maxmillan Nierenstein prepared it from oak bark, pomegranate and myrobalans (aamalakee).

The highest levels of ellagic acid is found in oak bark, pomegranate, aamalakee, yellow myrobalan, blackberries, cranberries, raspberries, strawberries, walnuts, grapes and peach.

Ellagic acid has anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-proliferative and chemoprotective properties. It is a useful supplement in the treatment of bacterial and viral infections.

Ellagic acid can prevent skin wrinkling.

Ellagic acid reduces blood pressure and carotid artery wall thickness, thereby preventing carotid artery stenosis.

Ellagic acid directly inhibits the DNA binding of certain carcinogens. By reducing oxidative stress ellagic acid acts as a chemoprotective agent. 

In a clinical trial ellagic acid reduced the rate of chemotherapy-associated neutropenia in patients receiving chemotherapy for prostate cancer. However ellagic acid supplementation did not improve overall progression-free survival of patients with prostate cancer in this trial

The results of supplementation of ellagic acid in cancer patients are so nebulous that the US FDA has declared ellagic acid as a “Fake cancer cure” [38], [39], [40]

Chebulagic acid 
Molecular formula: C41H30O27
Structural formula:

Chebulagic acid is a benzopyran tannin. 

Chebulagic acid is found in Terminalia chebula, Terminalia citrina and Terminalia catappa

Chebulagic acid is antioxidant, immunosuppressive, hepatoprotective and a potent alphaglucosidase inhibitor. 

Chebulagic acid is shown to be active against Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans. [41] 

Recent study shows that chebulagic acid is COX-LOX inhibitor. Chebulagic acid shows antiviral activity against Human Enterovirus 71, Herpes simplex virus and Human Immunodeficiency Virus. [42], [43], [44]

In one in vitro study chebulagic acid was shown to be inhibitor of angiogenesis [45] 

Chebulagic acid shows anti-proliferative activity.

Chebulinic acid
Molecular formula: C41H32O27
Structural formula:

Chebulinic acid is ellagitannin found in the seeds of Euphorbia longana, in the fruits of Terminalia chebula and in the leaves of Terminalia macroptera. [46] 

Chebulinic acid has antihypertensive activity. This effect is probably mediated via the decrease in cardiac output resulting from reduced left ventricular contraction 

Chebulinic acid has anti-secretary and cyto-protective effect. [47], [48] 

Chebulinic acid has inhibitory effect on erythroid differentiation. Chebulinic acid might influence the efficiency of some anti-tumor drugs-induced differentiation or the hematopoesis process.  [49]

Molecular formula: C15H10O6
Structural formula:

Kaempferol is a natural flavonol. It is a yellow crystalline solid with a melting point of 2760 to 2780 C, slightly soluble in water but freely soluble in hot ethanol and diethyl ether.

Kaempferol is found in tea, apples, tomato, strawberries, grapes, beans, cabbage and many other plants.

Kaempferol has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial, antiallergic, neuroprotective, anxiolytic, antidepressant, analgesic, cardioprotective, antidiabetic, anti-osteoporotic, estrogenic and anticancer activities.

The consumption foods containing kaempferol reduces the risk of developing several disorders such as depression, neurodegeneration, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, lung fibrosis, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer etc. [50]

Molecular formula: C116H76O74
Structural formula:

The ellagitannins are a class of hydrolysable tannins. 

Ellagitannins are found in raspberries. [51] 

Medicinal uses of ellagitannins are similar to those of ellagic acid.

Molecular formula: C34H22O22
Structural formula:

Emblicanins are a type of polyphenolic antioxidant found in Aamalakee (Emblica officinalis). Emblicanin is different from most other antioxidants as it is a pro-oxidation free cascading antioxidant.    

Pro-oxidants are chemicals that induce oxidative stress either by generating reactive oxygen species or by inhibiting antioxidant systems. 
Many antioxidants intrinsically have a pro-oxidant action, especially in the presence transition metals like iron and copper. Through a series of reaction with oxygen species, iron causes highly toxic hydroxyl radical with a subsequent cell damage. It means that the antioxidants which are meant to scavenge free radicals, themselves create free radicals.   

Emblicanin utilizes a multilevel cascade of antioxidant compounds resulting in a prolongation of its antioxidant capabilities. 

Emblicanin A aggressively seeks and attacks free radicals. After neutralizing a free radical emblicanin A is transformed into emblicanin B which in turn attacks free radicals and is transformed into Emblicanin oligomers. This makes emblicanins one of the best free radical scavenging antioxidant. [52] 

Pro-oxidation free natural antioxidant like emblicanin has broad spectrum activity. It is chelator for iron and copper. It eliminates transitional metal-induced oxidative damage. It is an excellent adaptogen and age-defying agent. It inhibits collagenase activity. It stimulates non-collagenic proteins. It reduces and repairs UV-induced skin damage. It lightens the skin color. [53]

Molecular formula: C34H26O23
Structural formula:

Punigluconin is an ellagitannin, a polyphenol. It is found in Aamalakee (Emblica officinalis), pomegranate (Punica granatum). Its pharmacological actions and medicinal uses are similar to those of ellagitannin. [54]

Molecular formula: C34H24O22
Structural formula:

Pedunculagin is an ellagitannin, a polyphenol. It is found in Aamalakee (Emblica officinalis), Pomegranate (Punica granatum) and Walnuts (Juglans regia). Its pharmacological actions and medicinal uses are similar to those of ellagitannin. It is a highly active carbonic anhydrase inhibitor. [56] 

The patients of atopic dermatitis (AD) receiving pedunculagin show faster and greater improvement.  

Natural materials like pedunculagin are now showing promise for medical application. Many studies are now undertaken to explore this potential. [57] 

In one study pedunculagin showed the dose dependent cytotoxicity against chronic myelogenous (myeloid or myelocytic) leukemia (K-562), human promyelocytic leukemia (HL-60), mouse lymphoid neoplasm (P388), mouse lymphocytic leukemia (L1210) and mouse sarcoma 180 (S180) cell lines. The most sensitive cell line to pedunculagin was HL-60. [58]

 Molecular formula: C9H10O5
Structural formula:

Synonyms: Ethylgallate, Nipagallin A, Progallin A, Nipa 48    

Phyllemblin is ethyl gallate, ethyl ester of gallic acid. 

It is found in Emblica officinalis, walnuts, Terminalia chebula etc. It can be found in wine. [59] 

Emblica officinalis has antibacterial activity. Its cardio-tonic activity is more like the actions of adrenalin. It shows expectorant activity, but its isolated constituents like gallic acid, tannins, ascorbic acid, phyllemblin do not show expectorant activity. After extensive study, Boyd and Pearson attribute the expectorant activity of Emblica officinalis to direct stimulation of bronchial glands 

A pure crystalline substance ‘phyllemblin’ isolated from the alcoholic extract of Emblica officinalis has many potent pharmacodynamic actions. 

The pharmacodynamic actions of phyllemblin are grouped into two classes
1. Direct action on various systems
2. Indirect actions via potentiation of the actions of adrenaline 

Direct actions: (A) Phyllemblin brings about contraction of the nictitating membrane (B) Phyllemblin stimulates the isolated heart of rabbit, causes short rise in BP in cat, increases cardiac output of frog’s heart (C) Phyllemblin reduces the outflow of the perfused isolated hind limb of rat and ear of rabbit (D) Phyllemblin exerts antisposmodic action on intestinal smooth muscle and seminal vesicles of rat. 

Indirect actions: Although pharmacodynamic actions of phyllemblin are similar to actions of adrenaline, it in fact resembles ephedrine in its ability to potentiate adrenaline. Phyllemblin has no effect on capillary permeability. 
Phyllemblin is well tolerated by mice up to 100 mg/kg when injected intraperitoneally and up to 500mg/kg when administered orally. Beyond that dose however the animals become drowsy and dull but become active after one to three hours. [60]

Ethyl gallate (Progallin A)
Molecular formula: C9H1005
Structural formula:

Recently Progallin A is isolated from ether part of leaves of Phyllanthus emblica (E. officinalis). Its pharmacology is discussed below. (Vide: actions on the liver) 

Some testimonials from modern research 

General Pharmacology 
Extracts of Emblica officinalis fruits were found to possess potent antipyretic activity. In experimental rats a single oral dose (500mg/kg i.p.) of ethanol or aqueous extract of Emblica officinalis fruit significantly reduced hyperthermia induced by brewer’s yeast. This activity is attributed to the presence of tannins, alkaloids, phenolic compounds, aminiacids and carbohydtates. [62] 

In in vitro and in vivo studies the methanolic extract of roots of E. officinalis significantly neutralized the Vipera russellii venom-induced hemorrhage, coagulant, defibrinogenating and inflammatory activities. The extract also antagonized the Naja kauthia venom-induced hemorrhage, coagulant, defibrinogenating and inflammatory activities. [63]   

To evaluate the radioprotective effect of the extract of E. officinalis, Swiss albino mice were exposed to 5 Gy γ rays. The extract of E. officinalis 100 mg/kg body weight was administered orally every day for 7 days prior to radiation while the control group did not receive any treatment before radiation. Histopathology of a piece of jejunum was studied in both the groups from 12 hours to 30 days duration. In the animals of control group the crypt population, the mitotic figures and villus length were markedly reduced. Animals receiving pre treatment had a higher number of crypt cells and mitotic figures. Furthermore there was a significant depletion in lipid peroxidation and elevation in glutathione and catalase levels showing protective effect of E. officinalis against radiation.  [64]  

 Actions on the Skin

 As the skin ages the charming youthful sheen fades away. Aging may be the simple chronological event in our life, but the photo-aging is induced by exposure to the sun. The exposure to the UV/ solar radiation generates free radicals which induce mitochondrial damage, telomere based DNA damage, genetic mutations and decrease of many hormonal levels. Due this the aging skin displays epidermal thickness of varying degree, degeneration in the elasticity of dermis, reduced collagen, increased matrix degrading metalloproteinases, telangiectases, various inflammations and inflammatory infiltrates, ectasia of blood vessels and severe atrophy. Vitamin C, quercetin, polyphenols, elagic acid, flavones found in E. officinalis are free radical scavengers par excellence. By scavenging the free radicals these chemical constituents antagonize the UV signaling pathway, inhibit elastase activity and expression of metalloproteinases and increase of expression of procollagen type I. Thus the chemical constituents of E. officinalis not only prevent/arrest/retard the aging of the skin but also reverse the skin aging. In Ayurveda, Aamalakee (E. officinalis) is extolled as alterative, restorative, rejuvenator and adaptogen par excellence. Modern research validates these claims. [65] 

A topical formulation containing kjoic acid, extract of emblica officinalis and glycolic acid was found to possess skin lightening ability. This formulation is alternative to 4% hydroxyquinone cream. [66] 

The standardized extract of Phyllanthus emblica (Emblica officinalis) was found to have a long-lasting and broad-spectrum anti-oxidant activity. E. officinalis protects the skin from damaging effects of free radicals and transition metal-induced oxidative stress; therefore it is suitable for use anti-aging, sun- screen and general skin care products.  [67]   

Aamalakee AKA Aawalaa (Emblica officinalis) has been used in various hair care products. There is no enough convincing data for these claims. 

Wound healing

Throughout wound healing the wound is rich in oxidants. Due to its potent antioxidant property, E. officinalis extract provides protection for dermal fibroblasts against oxidative stress. The extract stimulates proliferation of fibroblasts and production of procollagen. Thus antioxidants such as ascorbic acid, tannins, emblicanin A and emblicanin B are useful in wound healing. [68] 

Antioxidant activity 

Active tannoid principles of E. officinalis such as emblicanin A, emblicanin B, penigluconin, pedunculagin, show a strong antioxidant activity. In experiments on rat, oral administration of E. officinalis tannoids 10 and 20 mg for 21 days were effective in scavenging oxidative free radical scavenging enzymes in rat brain frontal cortex and striatum. The results specify that the tannoids found in E. officinalis fruit have properties like vitamin C. [69] 

E. officinalis ameliorates alcohol-induced oxidative stress which is attributed to effects of phytophenols such as tannins, flavonoids and vitamin C.[70] 

Anti-inflammatory activity 

In one study the water fraction of methanol extract of the leaves of E. officinalis showed anti-inflammatory activity on carrageenan and dextran-induced rat paw edema. [71]  

In another study on animal model, acute and chronic inflammation was induced by using carrageenan and cotton pellets. Phenolic compounds from E. officinalis at 20 and 40mg/kg body weight doses were used to treat the inflammations. The results indicated that both acute and chronic inflammations regressed at high doses. The results were comparable to diclofenac. [72] 

In an experimental study acute rat paw inflammation was induced by using carrageenan and acute peritonitis was induced by using acetic acid. In carrageenan induced edema though Phyllanthus emblica (E. officinalis) was useful to regress the edema, the combination of Phyllanthus emblica (Aamalakee, Indian gooseberry), Plumbago zeylanica (Chitraka, White leadwort) and Cyperus rotundus (Naagarmothaa, Nut grass) (20.64%) was more effective. The results of the combination were comparable to aspirin (23.74%). In the acetic acid induced peritonitis the combination was significantly effective than the single herb. [73]   

Immunomodulatory activity 

Vitamin C of E. officinalis improves splenic natural killer cell activity and antibody dependent cytotoxicity in mice. [74]

 In one study chromium (VI) was used as an immunosuppressive agent. Chromium (VI) caused cytotoxicity (apoptosis and DNA fragmentation) produced free radicals and lipid peroxidation, decreased GPx activity, reduced GSH levels, inhibited lymphocyte proliferation. E. officinalis significantly inhibited free radical production, apoptosis, DNA fragmentation and restored the antioxidant status back to control level. Thus E. officinalis significantly inhibited immunosuppressive effects of chromium (VI). [75]

Recently a study was carried out to investigate the protective role of E. officinalis against arsenic induced oxidative stress and apoptosis in thymocytes of mice. Sodium arsenite was administered to mice at the dose of 3mg/kg body weight and simultaneously E. officinalis was administered at the dose of 500 mg/kg body weight for 28 days. The study showed that the animals were protected by concomitant treatment with E. officinalis against the oxidative stress and apoptosis in thymocytes. [76]   

Actions on Hematopoietic System 

Oral administration of E. officinalis before exposure to γ radiation was found to be effective in protecting Swiss albino mice against hematological and biochemical changes occurring in peripheral blood following radiation. A significant increase in the RBC, WBC, Hb and hematocrit values was observed. E. officinalis also inhibited the symptoms of radiation sickness. [77]  
In another study on Swiss albino mice, the animals were treated with E. officinalis 2.5 g/kg body weight for 10 days before irradiation and were exposed to a single dose of 700 rads after the last dose of E. officinalis. To another group E. officinalis was continued for 15 days after irradiation. Study of Hb, WBC count and bone marrow viability indicated that E. officinalis protected the hematopoietic system of the animals. [78] 

The arsenic contamination has occurred in ground water. Its accumulation in plants has assumed a menacing proportion in food and herbal medicinal preparations. The contamination is associated with immune-related health problems. 

A study was focused to explore the efficacy of E. officinalis against arsenic-induced splenomegaly in mice. Oral administration of arsenic (3mg/kg body weight for 30 days) in mice caused oxidative damage. 

Simultaneous oral administration of E. officinalis with arsenic at the dose of 500mg/kg body weight for 30 days decreased the levels of lipid peroxidation (33%), ROS (24%), capsase-3 activity (1.4 fold) and increased levels of SOD (80%), catalase (47%), cell viability (63%) and mitochondrial membrane potential (66%). Thus E. Officinalis counters the oxidative effects of arsenic. [79] 

In one study hematological changes were induced in Swiss albino rats by exposing them to 6.0 Gy of γ radiation with or without lead acetate administration. Some animals received E. officinalis seven days prior to exposure and lead acetate and some did not. The animals receiving pre-treatment with E. officinalis, exhibited less hematopoietic damage as compared to the animals not receiving pre-treatment. This shows that E. officinalis is potent enough to protect the animals from lead and radiation induced hematopoietic changes. [80] 

Actions on Musculoskeletal System 

An osteoclast is a type of bone cell that resorbs bone tisse. This function is critical in the maintainance, repair and remodeling of bones of the vertebral skeleton. Osteoclasts are involved in RA and several pathologies associated with boneloss. Fas is a type-2 transmembrane protein. Its binding with its receptor induces apoptosis. The Fas receptor is a death receptor on the surface of cells that leads to apoptosis. It is one of two apoptosis pathways, the other being the mitochondrial pathway. E. officinalis extracts by interfering with NF-kB increase the expression of levels of Fas. Thus E. officinalis fruit extracts were able to induce apoptosis of osteoclasts, without altering the process of osteoclastogenesis. This induction of apoptosis of osteoclasts could be a novel approach for the treatment of RA and several other bone-destruction diseases. [81]   

Antibacterial activity 

The chloroform soluble methanolic extract of E. officinalis displayed significant antimicrobial activity against Gram positive and Gram negative pathogenic bacteria. E. officinalis displays potent anti-bacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumonia, K. ozaenae, Proteus mirabilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella typhi, Salmonella paratyphi A and B, Serratia marcescens.  

In experimental animal model Saini et al found that long-term dietary supplementation of E. officinalis protects the animals against bacterial colonization of lungs. To understand the actual mechanism of this activity more study is necessary. E. officinalis plant offers a wealth of research potential for analytical chemists, pharmaceutical chemists and clinicians to develop vital drugs for prevention and treatment of bacterial infections. [82], [83], [84] 

The antibacterial activity of various extracts of the fruit of E. officinalis can be summarized as follows: 

The acetone extract has maximal antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli and Pasteurella multocida.
The methanol extract has maximal antibacterial against Staphylococcus aureus. 

The aqueous extract has maximal antibacterial against Klebsiella pneumonia

Of these extracts the acetone extract of fruit of E. officinalis has most potent antibacterial activity and has maximal antibacterial activity against E. coli than by other extracts. 

E. officinalis is also active against Staphylococcus hemolyticus, Staphylococcus saprophyticus, Micrococcus varians, Bacillus subtilis.  [85] 

Antiviral activity 

The polyphenolic compound, 1, 2, 4, 6-tetra-O-galloyl-β-D-glucose isolated from E. officinalis might exert anti HSV activity. The exact mechanism of action is not clear. It is observed that the compound inactivates extracellular viral particles and inhibits the viral biosynthesis in the host cells. [86] 

Antifungal activity 

Thaweboon et al demonstrated that ethanolic extract of E. officinalis fruit interferes with the adhesion of Candida albicans to buccal epithelial cells and denture acrylic surfaces.  [87] 

Antiprotozoal activity 

Pinmai et al found that water extract of Phyllanthus emblica (Emblica officinalis) displays antimalarial activity. It has very potent activity against Plasmodium falciparum. This activity is attributed to the presence of flavonoids, hydrolysable tannins, saponins and terpenes in the fruits of the plant. [88] 

Anthelmintic activity

The alcoholic and aqueous extract of Emblica officinalis show potent anthelmintic activity.[89] 

Actions on Nervous System 

The Aamalakee churna (the powder of dried berry of Emblica officinalis) at the doses of 50, 100 and 200 mg/kg body weight produced a dose dependent improvement in memory scores of young and aged mice. Furthermore, it reversed the amnesia induced by 0.4 mg/kg of scopolamine and 1mg/kg of diazepam. The cholinesterase activity in the brain was reduced by administration of dry powder of E. officinalis for 15 days. 

By virtue of its anticholinesterase activity and memory-enhancer property E. officinalis can be considered for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.  [90] 

To evaluate the beneficial effect of E. officinalis on impairment of memory in Swiss albino mice, scopolamine was administered at the dose of 1mg/kg to mice to induce amnesia. The memory function was assed by using using elevated plus-maze and passive avoidance test. The animals were divided in four groups. The E. officinalis extract was administered intraperitoneally in 150, 300, 450 and 600 mg/kg doses for consecutive seven days to different groups. On eighth day the animals were sacrificed. The brain malondialdehyde (MDA), glutathione (GSH) and acetylcholinesterase (AchE) activities were determined. It was observed that Emblica officinalis reversed the scopolamine induced amnesia. This shows that E. officinalis possesses memory enhancer activity. This is attributed to antioxidants found in the plant. The potential of E. officinalis for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease needs to be explored. [91] 

To evaluate the protective effect of E. officinalis fruit extract against alcohol- induced brain mitochondrial dysfunction, 5g/kg bodyweight, 20% alcohol was administered orally for 60 days to male Wistar rats. As expected the rats showed significantly lowered activities of mitochondrial antioxidant enzymes. Administration of E. officinalis extract protected the brain against alcohol-induced brain mitochondrial dysfunction. [92]  
In one study kainic acid (10mg/kg) was administered to rats to induce behavioral changes and convulsions in rats. In rats pretreated with 500 and 700 mg/kg body weight hydroalcoholic extract of E. officinalis significantly increased the latency of seizures. The hydroalcoholic extract attenuated kainic acid-induced increase in the TNF-α level in the brain. The extract also improved the cognitive deficit induced by kainic acid. At the dose of 700mg/kg bodyweight the hydroalcoholic extract of E. officinalis was effective in suppressing kainic acid-induced seizures and cognitive decline. These effects were due to the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities of E. officinalis. [93] 

In one study on albino rats, E. officinalis extract at the dose of 600mg/kg body weight produced significant reduction in 6% NaCl induced abdominal writhing. This showed that E. officinalis extract has analgesic activity involving peripheral mechanisms.  [94] 

Diabetic neuropathy is the worst torture a diabetic can suffer from; for he can never endure it and can find no respite from it due to the lack of understanding of its etio-pathology and nonavailability of convincing drug therapy. 

In diabetics the decrease in the nociceptive threshold is accompanied by significantly increased oxidative stress, nitrite levels and cytokines: TNF-α, IL-1β and TGF-β1both in the serum and nerves. 

In diabetic rats with neuropathy of the sciatic nerve, insulin corrected the hyperglycemia but did not relieve the pain due to neuropathy. However treatment with aqueous extract of E. officinalis at doses of 250, 500, 1000mg/kg/day significantly ameliorated the neuropathy and attenuated the behavioural, biochemical and molecular alterations in a dose dependent manner. [95]  

Actions on the eye 
Aldose reductase catalyzes the reduction of toxic lipid aldehydes to their alcohol products and mediates inflammatory signals triggered by lipopolysaccharide. Many ophthalmic complications are mediated through aldose reductase (AR). Recentaly betaglucogallin (BGG) an aldose reductase inhibitor has been isolated from Aamala (E. officinalis). An experimental study on rats showed that BGG (from E. officinalis) decreases the accumulation of sorbitol and prevents or retards the development of cataract and prevents uveitis. In diabetes aldose reductase causes activation of retinal microglia, produce pro-inflammatory molecules which bring about changes in retinal vasculature, increased apoptosis of retinal neurons and glial cells. BGG from Aamalaa (E. officinalis) prevents or retards diabetic retinopathy. [96] 

The tannoids of E. officinalis inhibit aldose reductase activity as well as sorbitol formation in the lens. It is suggested that tannoids might counter the polyol pathway-induced oxidative stress. In Wister-NIN rats E. officinalis also prevented aggregation and insolubilization of lens proteins caused by hyperglycemia. Thus E. officinalis prevents/delays the development of cataract in diabetic patients.[97] 

For years it was thought that ascorbic acid of Aamalakee was responsible for inhibition of aldose reductase in preventing cataract. However experiments on rat lens disproved the belief. Recently hydrolysable tannoids isolated from E. officinalis are found to inhibit aldose reductase both in rat lens and human lens. The inhibition of aldose reductase (AR) by tannoids of E. officinalis is 100 times higher than quercetin. Furthermore tannoids not only prevented the aldose reductase activation in rat lens organ culture but also prevented sugar-induced osmotic changes. These results indicate that diabetics can incorporate into daily life Aamalakee (E. officinalis) to prevent ophthalmic complications of diabetes. [98] 

Actions on CVS 

Subcutaneous injections of isoproterenol (isoprenaline) to rats (85mg/kg body weight/day) induce cardiac toxicity. Pre-treatment with or concurrent administration of E. officinalis in the doses of 100, 250, 500mg/kg bodyweight/day with isoproterenol (isoprenaline) protect the myocardium from isoproterenol (isoprenaline) toxicity. This conclusion is supported by the study of myocytes-injury-specific marker enzymes. Furthermore the histopathological study of myocardium confirmed the cardio-protective effects of E. officinalis. The cardioprotective effect of E. officinalis is attributed to antioxidant and freeradical scavenging activity of the herb. [99] 

Administration of E.officinalis fruit homogenate in the dosases of 250, 500 and 750mg/kg body weight to Wister albino rats for 30 days caused myocardial adaptation by augmenting endogenous antioxidents. This protected the animals from oxidative stress associated with ischemia-reperfusion injury.     

The results indicate that chronic Emblica officinalis administration causes myocardial adaptation by augmenting endogenous antioxidants and protects rat hearts from oxidative stress associated with ischemic-reperfusion injury. Of three doses the dose of 250 mg/kg was not effective. [100] 

In one study oral administration of amla (E. officinalis) fruit extract at the dose of 50mg/kg body weight significantly decreased the concentration of pro-inflammatory cytokines.

The fruit extract also reduced lipopolysaccharide induced tissue factor expression and von Willebrand factor release in human umbilical vein endothelial cells in vitro at clinically relevant concentrations.

These results suggest that amla (E.officinalis) fruit displays anti-inflammatory and anticoagulant activity. [101] 

In one study the endothelial cells were incubated with 300 microM H2O2. As expected the cell viability decreased and intracellular ROS levels increased.
Pretreatment of endothelial cells with Phyllanthus emblica significantly ameliorated the cytotoxic effects of H2O2 and attenuated the excessive intracellular ROS formation in endothelial cells. W     estern blot analysis revealed that pretreatment with Phyllanthus emblica induced Akt phosphorylation but did not activate NF-kappaB pathway. This study suggests that Phyllanthus emblica can protect human endothelial cells against oxidative stress and prevent cardiovascular disease. [102] 

To evaluate the effects of E. officinalis on serum lipids and atherogenesis, in Wister albino rats, in one group the animals were fed with high fat diet. The other group received high fat diet and E. officinalis extract at the dose of 1gm/kg body weight for eight weeks. The animals receiving E. officinalis extract showed significant antihyperlipidemic activity and significant improvement in atherogenic index, comparable to simvastatin. [103]  

Actions on RS 

A dose of 50mg/kg bodyweight of E. officinalis extract administered orally to cats suppressed the cough reflex. The cough suppressive effect was more pronounced at the dose of 200mg/kg body weight.

The antitussive activity of E. officinalis is less effective than the conventional narcotic antitussive drug codeine, but more effective than the non-narcotic antitussive agent dropropizine.

This activity is due not only to anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antispasmodic effects of E. officinalis but also to its effect on the mucus secretion in the airways. [104] 

Actions on GI System 

The ethanolic extract of E. officinalis at 60 mg/kg body weight is useful to cure NSAID induced gastritis or gastric ulcer in mice. The antioxidant property of E. officinalis is the key to its therapeutic effect in the treatment of NSAID induced gastropathy. Intriguingly the dose of 120mg/kg body weight shows adverse effect. This dose dependent biphasic action is due to swiching from antioxidant to pro-oxidant shift and immunomodulatory property. It is possible that the quercetin paradox may be an important factor in this shift. [105] 

In experimental studies, gastric ulcer was induced in rats by using aspirin, ethanol, cold restraint stress and pyloric ligation. The methanolic extract of E. officinalis administered orally to these rats at 10-50mg/kg body weight for 5 days showed dose dependent protective and healing effect on gastric lesions. The significant healing effect was observed at the dose of 20mg/kg body weight. Further study on gastric mucosal factors showed that E. officinalis significantly decreased the offencive factors like gastric acid and pepsin secretion and increased mucin secretion augmenting the protective effect on gastric mucosa. [106] 

In vitro studies using jejunum and ileum of rats as well as in vivo studies in mice show antidiarrheal and antispasmodic effects on castor oil-induced diarrhea. The effect is possibly mediated through muscarinic action and calcium channel blockade. [107] 

Fresh ripe aamalaa fruits (Emblica officinalis-Phyllanthus emblica) prokinetic, laxative activity in mice and spasmodic activity in guinea pigs and rabbits. These activities are mediated through muscarinic receptors. This explains its role in the treatment of indigestion and constipation. [108] 

To evaluate the effect of aqueous extract of Phyllanthus emblica (E. officinalis) on genomic damage and death of human colon adenocarcinoma cell line COLO 320, the cells were exposed to RPMI-1640 medium. Phyllanthus emblica induced a significant decrease in necrosis and nuclear division index in a dose and time dependent manner. Phyllanthus emblica also significantly increased apoptosis and delayed mitotic progression in COLO 320 cells. [109] 

Actions on the Pancreas 

To explore the beneficial effects of E. officinalis in pancreatitis, acute pancreatitis was induced in rats by administering L-arginine injections. The animals were then treated with E. officinalis. The serum levels of lipase and interleukin were lower than in the untreated animals. Nucleic acid content, rate of DNA synthesis, pancreatic proteins and pancreatic amylase improved significantly. The researchers claim that E. officinalis is beneficial in the treatment of acute necrotizing pancreatitis. [110]

Actions on the Liver 

In experimental animals (Swiss albino mice) 4mg/kg body weight of arsenic causes hepatopathy. When treated with E. officinalis (500mg/kg body weight) there was a significant improvement in the levels of liver enzymes suggesting improvement in liver function. Histopathological study of liver of treated animaals showed regression in lesions. [111] 

DMBA (7, 12-Dimethylbenzanthracene) is an immunosupressor and a powerful organ-specific carcinogen. To evaluate protective action of E. officinalis against carcinogenesis, E. officinalis extract was administered orally to Swiss albino mice in doses of 100, 250, 500 mg/kg body weight for 7 days prior to a single intraperitoneal dose of DMBA which is known to induce genotoxicity. This pre- treatment significantly increased the levels of antioxidants (GSH, GPx, and GR) and detoxifying enzymes (GST) in the liver. This shows that E. officinalis offers protection against the carcinogen. The protection is dose dependent and is maximum at 500mg/kg body weight. This effect is attributed to antioxidant and detoxifying activity of the liver. [112] 

Aqueous extracts of E. officinalis have potency to modulate basal oxidative markers and enhance endogenous antioxidant defences in hepatocyte cell line (HepG2) [113] 

In an experimental study on rats N-nitrosodiethylamine increased reactive oxygen species production in liver and bile, hepatic Kupffer cell and leucocyte infiltration, accumulation of 3-nitrotyrosine and 4-hydroxynonenal, apoptosis and autophagy and plasma levels of the liver enzymes ALT, AST and γ-GT. N-nitrosodiethylamine decreased hepatic MnSOD and catalse protein expression.

N-nitrosodiethylamine enhanced iNOS and cytochrome P450 2E1protein expressions.

E. officinalis significantly preserved MnSOD and catalase expressions and decreased iNOS and cytochrome P450 2E1protein expressions in N-nitrosodiethylamine-treated liver. E. officinalis decreased hepatic apoptosis and autophagy enhanced by N-nitrosodiethylamine. This effect is attributed to the down regulation of the Bax/Bcl-2 ratio and Beclin-1 expression by E. officinalis. Thus E. officinalis via its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-apoptosis and anti-autophagy properties counters N-nitrosodiethylamine induced liver injury.[114]

 In an experimental study hepatocyte damage was caused by exposing mice to arsenic at the dose of 3mg/kg body weight for 30 days. This caused a significant change in the levels of SGOT, SGPT and creatinine but not in the level of protein. However co-administration of arsenic and fruit extract of E. officinalis at the dose of 500mg/kg body weight protected the animals from hepatocyte damage. This cytoprotective effect was attributed to the antioxidant property of the fruit of E. officinalis. [115] 

Hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) is hepatotoxic. E. officinalis counters the hepatotoxicity induced by HCH. [116] 

Alcohol is notorious for hepatotoxicity. Oxidative stress and ROS-mediated toxicity are the key mechanisms responsible for alcohol-induced hepatic damage and mitochondrial dysfunction. Administration of fruit extract of E. officinalis at the dose of 250mg/kg body weight protects the liver from alcohol induced hepatotoxicity and liver mitochondrial dysfunction. [117]

Progallin A isolated from ether part of leaves of E. officinalis has low toxicity. It strongly inhibits the proliferation of BEL-7004 cells (human hepatocellular carcinoma cells). The apoptosis rate and the number of apoptotic cells are significantly increased by Progallin A. Progallin A induces G1/M and G2/M arrest of BEL-7004(human hepatocellular carcinoma cells) by up-regulation of Bax expression and down regulation of Bcl-2 expression. [118]
The hydroalcoholic extract of fruit of E. officinalis, Aamalaa  (concentration 50%) protects the liver from the hepatotoxicity induced by antitubercular drugs rifampicin, isonizide and pyrazinzmide either given alone or in combination. This is due to antioxidant, membrane stabilizing and CYP2E1inhibitory effect of the fruit extract of E. officinalis. [119]

The hydroalcoholic extract of fruit of E. officinalis, Aamalaa (concentration 50%) reduces the severity of liver fibrosis induced by carbontetrachloride and thioacetamide. This was supported by improvement it the serum levels of alanine aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, bilirubin. Other hepatic parameters monitored in the study were glutathione, lipid peroxidation and activities of catalase, glutathione peroxidase, sodium-potassium ATPase and cytochrome P450. The arrest and/or reversal of profibrogenic events are due to antioxidant activity of E. officinalis. [120]

Ochratoxins are a group of mycotoxins produced by Aspergillus ochraceus, Aspergillus niger industrial strains, Penicillium verrucosum and Penicillium carbonarius. Ochratoxins are possibly human carcinogens. Exposure to ochratoxins through diet can cause acute toxicity in mammalian liver and kidney. [121]  

Ochratoxin can cause damage to DNA, RNA and protein contents in liver and kidney. To investigate the protective effect of aqueous extract of (E. officinalis) fruit on ochratoxin-induced liver and kidney damage; ochratoxin toxicity was induced in adult male albino mice. However administration of aqueous extract of E. officinalis 2mg/animal/kg/day for 45 days along with ochratoxin caused significant amelioration in the ochratoxin-induced toxicity in liver and kidney. [122]  

Actions on metabolism 

To investigate the effects of E. officinalis on lipid metabolism and protein expression, a polyphenol rich fraction of E. officinalis (ethyl acetate extract) was administered at 10 or 40 mg/kg body weight per day for 100 days to young rats aged 2 months and old rats aged 10 months. The lipid levels were significantly decreased. The proximose proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) are a group of nuclear proteins that function as transcription factors regulating the expression of genes. The PPARα regulates the transcription of genes involved in lipid metabolism. Oral administration of E. officinalis significantly increased the hepatic PPARα protein level, inhibited hepatic mitochondrial dysfunction. The results indicated that E. officinalis prevented age related hyperlipidemia through attenuating oxidative stress occurring in the ageing process. [123]  

Oral administration of ethyl acetate extract of E. officinalis at 20 or 40mg/kg body weight for 20 days to rats lowered the elevated levels of total cholesterol and LDL. The study suggests that E. officinalis is effective for the treatment of hypercholesterolemia and prevention of atherosclerosis. [124] 

To investigate the effect of amla on fructose-induced metabolic syndrome, male Wister rats were fed a high-fructose (65%) diet or standard chow diet for 1 week. They were treated with ethyl acetate extract of amla at 10 or 20 mg/kg body weight per day for 2 weeks. The treatment reduced the elevated levels of serum glucose, total cholesterol, hepatic triacylglycerol (TAG) and blood pressure. The results suggest that amla ameliorates the high fructose-induced metabolic syndrome. [125]  

Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is a major component of green tea extract. Oral administration of a mixture of EGCG and Amla extract (E. officinalis) in 1:1 proportion for 3 months to 13 diabetic-uremic patients improved antioxidant defence as well as diabetic and atherogenic indices.  
In another study administration of Amla extract alone to diabetic-uremic patients showed the similar effects. [126], [127] 

Fluoride causes oxidative stress that can result into hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia. Aamalaa (E. officinalis) counters the toxic effects of fluoride and alleviates the hyperglycemia (diabetes) and hyperlipidemia. [128], [129] 

Antidiabetic activity 

The important constituents of Aamalaa (E. officinalis) such as gallic acid, gallotannin, ellagic acid and corilagin possess antidiabetic effects through their antioxidant and free radical scavenging properties. They also prevent the complications of diabetes. [130]  

The commercial enzymatic extract of E. officinalis SunAmla (Taiyo Kangaku Co. Ltd, Yokkaichi, Japan) at 20 or 40mg/kg body weight/day or a polyphenol-rich fraction of ethyl acetate extract at 10 or 20mg/kg body weight/day for 20 days normalizes the blood sugar in streptozotocin-induced diabetes in rats. This effect is attributed to antioxidant and freeradical scavenging property of Aamala. E. officinalis also inhibits the production of advanced glycosylated end products. The serum level of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural, a glycosylated protein is an indicator of oxidative stress. E. officinalis significantly reduces the serum level of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural in diabetic rats in a dose dependent manner. Creatinine is another parameter of oxidative stress. E. officinalis reduces elevated levels of creatinine in diabetic rats. E. officinalis also reduces the lipid peroxidation. E. officinalis improved the serum albumin and adeponectin levels. Thus E. officinalis corrects multi-metabolic abnormalities associated with diabetes. [131] 

To investigate hypoglycemic effects of leaves of E. officinalis the hydro-methanolic (20:80) extract of leaves of E. officinalis Gaertn. (HMELEO)       was prepared. Streptozotocin was used to induce diabetes in rats. Oral administration of HMELEO to these rats at 100, 200, 300 and 400mg/kg body weight/day for 45 days significantly decreased fasting blood glucose. The treatment also reduced serum creatinine, urea, SGOT, SGPT and lipids. [132]   

Actions on Urinary System

The fresh fruit of E. officinalis is diuretic. 

With advancing age the renal function deteriorates as is evident by rising blood pressure, elevation of serum levels of urea and creatinine. Oral administration of of ethyl acetate extract of E. officinalis to aged rats (age 13 months) at 10 and 40 mg/kg body weight/ day for 100days reduced the elevated systolic blood pressure, reduced the elevated levels of urea and creatinine. The extract also supressed the nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression in the aorta of aging rats; decreased the proapoptotic protein. These effects are due to amelioration of oxidative stress by E. officinalis. The results suggest that antioxidant activity of E. officinalis is very useful for the prevention of age-related renal disease. [133] 

Intravenous contrast media-induced acute kidney injury is the common cause of acute kidney injury. Contrast agents induce renal vasoconstriction followed by renal hypoxia. This is generates free radicals which further increases the oxidative stress. Renal injury occurs when reactive oxygen species exceed the antioxidant reserve of renal tissue. E. officinalis contains high concentrations of antioxidants ascorbic acid, gallic acid and phenolic compounds. Extract of E. officinalis at 250 and 500 mg/kg bodyweight/day attenuated the severity of pathological damage caused by contrast agents and preserved the renal function in a dose dependant manner. [134]   

Actions on Male Reproductive System 

Ochratoxins, natural contaminants of cereals and other foods, impair spermatogenesis and are known genotoxic carcinogens in rats. 
Oral administration of aqueous extract of E. officinalis to experimental mice at 2mg/kg body weight/day along with ochratoxin for 45 days ameliorated the toxic effects of ochratoxin in testis of mice. [135]   

Organophosphate pesticides are detrimental to male reproductive system. Chlorpyriphos is a crystalline organophosphate insecticide. Oral administration of E. officinalis at 20mg/kg body weight/day for 30 days ameliorated the toxic effects of chlorpyriphos on male reproductive system of rats as was evident by increase in body weight, increase in the weight of reproductive organs, increase in sperm count, improvement in the motility and morphology of sperms and improvement of testosterone levels. [136] 

Actions on Female Reproductive System 

The fruit extract of Phyllanthus emblica (E. officinalis) exhibits anticancer activitiy against HPV-induced cervical cancer. This activity is said to be mediated via inhibition of activator protein AP-1activity and HPV transcription. [137]

 Antitumor activity 

To evaluate the cytotoxic and apoptotic effect of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) on laryngeal carcinoma cells (Hep2 cell line), silver nanoparticle was synthesized by using aqueous extract of Aamalaa (P. emblica). It was characterized by UV-Vis spectroscopy. Average particle size distribution of Phyllanthus emblica- silver nanoparticles was found to be 188nm. The shape of nano particle was cuboid or spherical. Potent biomolecules of P. emblica (E. officinalis) such as polyphenols were capped with AgNP and reduced their toxicity. The PEAgNP reduced ROS generation, induced DNA damage and mitochondrial depolarization in cells and caused apoptosis. Thus the PE-AgNP was found to be cytotoxic to laryngeal cancer cells. [138] 
The aqueous extract of Phyllanthus emblica (E. officinalis) exhibits anti- metastatic activity against human fibrosarcoma cells, HT1080. The extract arrests the growth of cancer cells, reduces cell proliferation, migration, invasion and adhesion in dose and time dependent manner. A decrease in the expression of both matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP2) and matrix metalloproteinase 9   (MMP9) seems to be the mechanism for antimetastasis in this case. [139] 

The phytochemicals nonsesquiterpenoids, corilagin, elaeocarpusin and prodelphinidins B1 and B2 found in E. officinalis possess antineoplastic, radiomodulatory, chemomodulatory, chemoprotective, antimutagenic, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory activities. Some researchers therefore feel Aamala (E. officinalis) can be used in the treatment and prevention of cancer in humans. [140] 

Cyclophosphamide is one of the most commonly used anticancer drugs. It has many toxic side effects. The extract of E. officinalis at 100mg/kg body weight for 10 days modulated the toxic effects of cyclophosphamide in experiments on rats. It is suggested that, E.officinalis can be used in combination with cyclophosphamide to modulate its toxicity. [141] 

The extract of Phyllanthus emblica (E. officinalis) at 50-100 microgram/mL significantly inhibited cell growth of human cancer cell lines of lung cancer (A 549), hepatocellular carcinoma (Hep G2), cervical cancer (HeLa), breast cancer (MDA-MB-231), ovarian cancer (SK-OV3) and colorectal cancer (SW620). The extract brought about apoptosis in cervical cancer cells. It caused DNA fragmentation, increased activity of capsase-3/7 and capsase-8, up-regulation of Fas protein. This suggests that the mechanism of apoptosis is mediated via death-receptor. Further study is necessary to consider E. officinalis as a possible anti-cancer and chemoprotective agent. [142]

 Phyllanyhus emblica (E. officinalis) when administered orally to syngeneic BALB/c mice, enhanced natural killer cells and antibody dependent cellular cytotoxicity bearing Dalton’s lymphoma ascites tumour. E. officinalis elicited two fold increase in splenic natural killer cell activity. It is suggested that E. officinalis augments natural cell mediated cytotoxicity. [143] 

Culinary uses 

The berries are eaten fresh, dried or stewed. The berry is usually taken in the form of an herb or jelly. The berries are also used as pickles and condiments. 
The berries are used to prepare a refreshing, delicious drink.   
In India, it is common to eat gooseberries steeped in salt water and turmeric to make the sour fruits palatable. 

Medicinal Actions and uses 

Traditional usages 

It is used in PUOs 
It is used in constipation, colic, hyperacidity and irritable bowel syndrome (IBD) 
It is used in bronchitis, phthisis (tuberculosis) and asthma. 
It is said to purify (detoxicate) the blood and hence used in anemia, skin diseases, gout, and rheumatoid arthritis. 
It is used for the elderly in cases of confusion, senile dementia, amnesia (yin tonic) and even in some mental disorders. 
Above all, it is used as a rejuvenator and disease modifier (Rasaayana) to promote disease free longevity. 
 In Chinese medicine the roots are used as a purgative. 

Ayurvedic Uses 

Jwara (fever, PUO)
Shosha (cachexia),
Kshatakshaya (debility following trauma)
Shrama and Anga-awasaada (fatigue)
Shiroroga (disease related to head, headache, migraine)
Waata-wyaadhi (neuralgia, neuro-muscular, musculoskeletal disorders)
Smritibhransha- Buddhibhransh (loss of memory-to promote intellectual function, ?Alzheimer’ s disease )
Bhagna (fractures)
Swarabhagna (hoarseness of voice)
Pratishyaaya (rhinitis, nasal allergy)
Timiraroga (cataract)
Kaasa/Kapha Praseka/Shwaasa/Tamaka shwaasa (cough and dyspnea, status asthmaticus)
Hridroga (cardiac disorders),
Shopha-Shotha (edema, inflammatory edema)
Pandu (anemia)
Trishnaa, Pipaasaa (polydipsia)
Prameha (diabetes) 
Raktapitta (bleeding disorder, gout)
Aadhmaana (flatulence)
Aruchi- Amlapitta (dyspepsia, hyperacidity, acid-peptic disorder, peptic ulcer)
Paktishoola- Parinaamashoola (duodenal ulcer, intestinal colic)
Hikkaa (hiccup)
Vaman, Chhardee(emesis-vomiting,  morning sickness) 
Vibandha, Baddhakoshtha (constipation)
Krimi (worms) 
Arsha (fissures in ano, piles)
Kaamalaa (jaundice)
Yakrit-Pleeha Roga (hepato-splenomegaly, portal hypertension)
Pittaroga (allergic disorders)
Kushtha (leprosy)
Twakroga (skin diseases)
Waiwarny(disorders of skin pigmentation-? leukoderma)
Mootrakrichcha (dysuria)
Mootragraha (retention of urine)
Klaibya (impotence, ED)
Retodosha (seminal disorders, spermatorrhea)
Yonisraawa (vaginal discharges)
Pradara (menorrhagia, leucorrhea)
Gulma (tumors)
Swabhaawa- wyaadhi (genetic disorders, familial disorders) [144], [145] 
The West now is embracing more and more medicinal practices of the East. The Chopra Center for Wellbeing, founded by Dr. Deepak Chopra and Dr. David Simon, has been recommending a daily dose of Aamalaa for more than a decade. 

Uses in Modern Medicine 

It is used for viral hepatitis, drug induced/ toxic chemical induced hepatitis, NASH (Non-Alcoholic-Steato-Hepatitis) now known as NAFLD (Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease), alcohol induced liver damage, dyspepsia, loss of appetite   and as a palliative therapy for ascites has been processed in Aamalakee (Phyllanthus emblica, Emblica officinalis

 Preparations and Doses 

Swaras: (Juice) 10-20 ml
Choorna: (Dried power) 3-6 Gm. 
The Aamalakee fruit requires a meticulous processing at low temperature to maintain potency of the vitamins and minerals.  
The processing method makes the Aamalaa-Berry tablets many times more powerful than the parent fruit or fruit powder, without destroying any of its delicate qualities. 

 While it may be new to the modern medical community, the fruit was the main ingredient in an ancient wonder jelly called Chyawanapraasha that not only improved physical and mental health but also was used primarily as a rejuvenator and invigorator. 

 Today an ancient drink is reborn in Zrii. Zrii is the first product to receive an endorsement from The Chopra Center for Wellbeing. 
Today, Aamalakee is available in powder or tablet form and liquid nutritional supplements such as Zrii. 

Chyawanapraasha is a world famous Ayurvedic preparation. 
Dose: 15 -30 grams daily

Braahma Rasaayana 1 and 2 
Dose: Same as Chyawanapraasha 

Aamalakee Rasaayana Dose: Same as Chyawanapraasha 
Aamalaka Ghruta 

Aamalakee Awaleha Dose:  Same as Chyawanapraasha 

Dhaatree Louha 

Bruhatdhaatree Ghruta 

Mahaatikta Ghruta 

Aamalakee Taila: For external use only; as hair oil  

Aamalakee is specialy recommended for diet in Kutipraaweshika Rasaayana and Waatataapic Rasaayana 

Amala supari (masticatory chew) 

Amala candy 

Amala choorna 

Amala juice. 

Research highlights: 

1. The extracts of Aamalakee and Chyavanaprasha have been shown to exhibit hepatoprotective properties. In a carbon tetrachloride induced liver injury model in rats, these herbal extracts were found to inhibit the hepatotoxicity produced by acute and chronic carbon tetrachloride administration. The herbs promoted decreased levels of serum and liver lipid peroxides, glutamate-pyruvate transaminase, and alkaline phosphatase. In addition, the extracts were found to reduce elevated levels of collagen-hydroxyproline significantly, indicating that the extract can inhibit the induction of fibrosis. The tannoid complexes (emblicanin A [37%], emblicanin B [33%], punigluconin [12%)] and pedunculagin [14%]) are reported to exhibit antioxidant activity in vitro and in vivo, and were found to inhibit acute iron overload hepatic lipid peroxidation. 

2. The butanol extract of the water fraction of the Aamalakee fruits, orally administered to rats for 10 consecutive days, was found to enhance the secretion of gastric mucus and hexosamine in the indomethacin-induced ulceration of rats. This extract was also shown to have a protective effect on the stomach wall. The antioxidant activity appears to be predominantly responsible for this cytoprotective action of the herb. 

3. The Aamalakee extract was recently shown to inhibit genotoxicity in mice. 

4. The tannin compounds found in Aamalakee fruit were tested for their effects of three important free radical scavenging enzymes in rat brain. Levels of all three increased, and there was a parallel decrease of oxidative stress. 

5. Daily administration of an aqueous extract of E. officinalis has been shown to significantly reduce the cytotoxic effects of sodium arsenite when administered orally in experimental animals, while another study confirmed that the Aamalakee fruit strengthened bodily defense mechanisms against stress-induced free radical damage. Researchers report that Aamalakee appears to cause an increase in the ability of target tissues to synthesize prostaglandins, which are essential to a host of important regulatory health functions. 

6. Aamalakee may also possess cancer-fighting properties, as illustrated by several studies. Extracts of three Aayurvedic herbs, Aamalakee fruit, Bhumyaamalaki (Phyllanthus amarus) and Katuki rhizome (Picrorrhiza kurroa) significantly inhibited the ability of carcinogenic chemicals to induce liver cancer in experimental animal models. Without the herbs, the incidence of tumors was 100%. 

7. The dietary supplementation of Aamalakee fruit in mice significantly reduced the cytotoxic effects of a known carcinogen (3, 4-benzo (a) pyrene). 

8. Studies have indicated the ability of the Aamalakee fruit to protect against elevated cholesterol levels and the resultant arterial damage. The fresh juice reduced the atherosclerotic effects of a high-fat, high-cholesterol diet in rabbits, as illustrated by the regression of aortic plaques. Although an earlier human study also showed a decrease in cholesterol with Aamalakee, a later study observed that within two weeks after discontinuing Aamalakee fruit, cholesterol levels rose again. The three fruits that comprise Triphalaa were shown to lower cholesterol significantly, although Vibhitaka fruit (Terminalia belerica) proved slightly stronger than Aamalakee. 

9. Supporting its traditional designation as a “cooling” herb, Aamalakee was found to be anti-inflammatory in carrageenan and dextran-induced rat paw edema. 

Composition of Chyawanapraasha (Version-1) 

Composition of Chyawanapraasha   awaleha:
Each 100 grams of Chyawanprash is prepared from: 

Botanical Name and Quantity in grams 

Angel marmelos                            0.398
Premma integrifolia                      0.398
Oroxylum indicum                        0.398
Stereospermum suaveolens           0.398
Desmodium giganticum                0.398
Teramnus labialis                         0.398
Solamum indicum                         0.398
Solnum xanthocarpum                  0.398
Tribulux terrestris                         0.398
Gmelina arborea                           0.398
Sida cordifolia                               0.398
Phaseolus trilabus                         0.398
Teramnus labialis                          0.398
Pistacia intergerima                      0.398
Phyllanthus ninuri                         0.398
Leptudenia reticulata                    0.398
Saussurea lappa                            0.398
Aquillaria agallocha                     0.398
Terminalia chebula                       0.398
Tinospora cordifolia                     0.398
Curcuma zedoaria                         0.398
Cyperus rotundus                          0.398
Boerhaavia diffusa                        0.398
Nymphoea stellata                         0.398
Adhatoda vasica                            0.398
Glycirrhiza glabra                         0.398
Martynia diandra                          0.398
Dioscorea bulbifera                       0.796
Withamia somnifera                       0.796
Asparagus racemosus                    0.796
Ipomoea digitata                           1.195

Composition of Chyawanapraasha (Domestic version)

1.   Bael (Bilwa)
2.   Aranee (Agnimantha)
3.   Kantakaaree
4.   Kaakadashingee (Karkatashrungee)
5.   Bhuee aawalaa (Bhoomyaamalakee)
6.   Jeewantee (Kaakolee)
7.   Pushkaramoola
8.   Gulawela (Guduchee)
9.   Ruddhi
10. Rushabhaka
11. Jeewaka
12. Kachoora, Narakachoora (Karchoora)
13. Mothaa
14. Punarnawaa
15. Medaa
16. Raktachandana
17. neelakamala
18. Widaareekanda
19. Adulasaa (Waasaa, Wasaakaa)
20. Wanshalochana
21. Daalacheenee
22. Jyeshthamadha
23. Naagakesara
24. Arjuna
25. Shankhapushpee
26. Brahmee
27. Maakaa (Bhrungaraaja)
28. Jyotishmatee
29. Balaa
30. Ashwagandhaa
31. Shataawaree
32. Wekhanda (Wachaa)
33. Shyaalaparnee
34. Prushniparnee
35. Pimpalee
36. Suntha (Shunthee)
37. Miree (Mareechee)
38. Aawalaa (Aamalakee) 

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76. Singh MK, Yadav SS, Gupta V, Khattri S; Immunomodulatory role of  Emblica officinalis in arsenic induced oxidative damage and apoptosis in thymocytes of mice, BMC Complement Alt Med 2013 Jul 27; 13: 193

77. Singh I, Soyal D, Goyal PK; Emlica officinalis (Linn.) fruit extract provides protection against radiation-induced hematological and biochemical alterations in mice, J Environ pathol Toxicol Oncol 2006; 25(4): 643-54

78. Hari Kumar KB, Sabu MC, Lima PS, Kuttan R; Modulation of hematopoietic system and antioxidant enzymes by Emblica officinalis gaertn and its protective role against gamma-radiation induced damages in mice. J Radiat Res. 2004 Dec; 45(4): 549-55    

79. Singh MK et al; Efficacy of crude extrac of Emblica officinalis (amla) in arsenic-induced oxidative damage and apoptosis in splenocytes of mice, Toxicol Int 2014 Jan 21(1): 8-17

80. Manisha Agarwal, Venkateshwar Songara, Seema Singarya, RK Purohit, Aruna Chakrawarti; Protective role of Emblica officinalis Linn against radiation and lead induced hematological changes in Swiss albino rats, Int J of current Pharmacological Research Vol 5, Issue 4, 2013

81. Letizia Penolazzi et al; Induction of apoptosis of human primary osteoclasts treated with extracts from the medicinal plant Emblica officinalis, BMC Complement Alt Med 2008 30; 8: 59    

82. Vijayalakskmi S, Arunkumar V, Anju D, Gunasundari P, Moorthy P, Chandrasekharan AK, Comparative antimicerbial activities of Emblica officinalis and Ossium sanctum, Anc Sci life 2007; 27:1-6

83. Saeed S, Tariq P; Antibacterial activities of Emblica officinalis and Corindrum sativum against Gram negative urinary pathogens, Pak J Pharm Sci 2007; 20:32-5

84. Saini A, Sharma S, Chhibber  S, protective efficacy of Emblica officinalis against Klebsiella pneumoniae induced pneumonia in mice, Indian J Med Res; 128: 188-93

85. Satyajit G. Patil, Deshmukh A. A., Amol R. Padol, Dnyaneshwar B. Kale; In Vitro antibacterial activity of Emblica officinales fruit extract by tube dilution method, International Journal of Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 2012; 2(4): 49-51

86. Xiang Y et al; In vitro anti-herpes simplex virus activity of 1, 2, 4, 6-tetra-O-galloyl-β-D-glucose from Phyllanthus emblica L. (Euphorbiaceae) , Phytother Res 2011; 25:975-82

87.Thaweboon B and Thaweboon S; Effect of Phyllanthus emblica Linn. On candida adhesion to oral epithelium and denture acrylic, Asian pac J trop Med 2011; 4:41-5

88. Pinmai K, Hirote W, Soonthornchareonnon N, Jongsakul K, Sireeratawong S, Tor-Udom S; In vitro and in vivo antiplasmodial activity and cytotoxicity of water extract of Phyllanthus emblica, terminalia chebula and Terminalia bellerica, J med Assoc Thai 2010; 93: S: 120-6

89. Gaurav Dwivedi, Arshad Ali Noorani, Dipendra Rawal, Hitesh Patidar; Anthelmintic activity of Emblica officinalis fruit extract, IJPRD, March 2011, Volume 3 Issue 1

90. Mani Vasudevan, Milind Parle; Memory enhancing activity of Anwala churna (Emblica officinalis Gaertn): An Ayurvedic preparation, Physiology and Behavior, Volume 91, Issue 1, 16 May 2007

91. Golechha M, Bhatia J, Arya DS; Studies on Emblica officinalis (Amla) on oxidative stress and and cholinergic function in scopolamine induced amnesia in mice, J Environ Biol. 2012 Jan; 33(1): 95-100

92. Reddy VD, Padmavati P, Kavitha G, Gopi S, Varadacharyulu N; Emblica officinalis ameliorates alcohol-induced brain mitochondrial dysfunction in rats, J Med Food, 2011, Jan-Feb; 14(1-2): 62-

93. Golechha M, Bhatia J, Ojha S, Arya DS, Hydroalcoholic extract of Emblica officinalis protects against kainic acid-induced status epilepticus in rats: evidence for an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective intervention, Pharm Biol. 2011 Nov; 49(11): 1128-36   

94.Bhomic Goel et al; Evaluation of analgesic activity of Emblica officinalis in albino rats, Int J Basic Clin Pharmacol, 2014; 2014; 3(2): 365-368 

95. Tiwari V, Kuhad A, Chopra K; Emblica officinalis corrects functional, biochemicals and molecular deficits in experimental diabetic neuropathy by targeting the oxido-nitrosative stress mediated inflammatory cascade, Phytother Res. 2011 oct 25(10):1527-36

96. Kun-Che Chang et al; Beta-glucogallin reduces the expression of lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammatory markers by inhibition of aldose reductase in murine macrophages and ocular tissue, Chem Biol Interact 2013 Feb 25; 202(0): 283-287

97. Suryanarayana P, Saraswat M, Petrash JM, Reddy GB; Emblica officinalis and its enriched tannoids delay streptozotocin-induced diabetic cataract in rats, Mol Vis 2007 Jul 24; 13: 1292-7

98. Suryanarayana P, Kumar PA, Saraswat M, Petrash JM, Reddy GB; Inhibition of aldose reductase by tannoid principles of Emblica officinalis: implications for the prevention of sugar cataract, Mol Vis 2004 Mar 12; 10: 148-54
99. Ojha S, Golechha M, Kumari S, Arya DS; protective effect of Emblica officinalis (amla) on isoproterenol-induced cardiotoxicity in rats, Toxicol Ind Health 2012 Jun; 28 (5): 399-411

100. Rajak S et al; Emblica officinalis causes myocardial adaptation and protects against oxidative stress in ischemic-reperfusion injury in rats, Phytother Res. 2004 Jan; 18 (1): 54-60

101. Rao TP et al; Amla (Emblica officinalis Gaertn.) extract inhibits lipopolysaccharide-induced pro-coagulant and pro-inflammatory factors in cultured vascular endothelial cells, Br J Nutr. 2013 Dec 110(12): 2201-6

102. Wongpradabchai S, Chularojmontri L, Phornchirasilp S, Wattanapitayakul SK; Protective effect of Phyllanthus emblica fruit extract against hydrogen peroxide-induced endothelial cell death, J Med Assoc Thai, 2013 Jan; 96 Suppl 1:s 40-8

103.Anju Lama, Hiteshwar Saikia; Effects of Emblica officinalis (AMLA) on Serum Lipids and Atherogenesis in Albino Rats Fed With High Fat Diet, Indian Medical Gazette—July 2013.

104. Nosal’ova G, Mokrey J, Hassan KM; Antitussive activity of the fruit extract of Emblica officinalis Gaertn. (Euphorbiaceae), Phytomedicine 2003: 10(6-7): 583-9   

105. Anaya Chatterjee, Subrata Chattopadhyay, Sandip K. Bandopadhyay; Biphasic Effect of Phyllanthus emblica L. Extract on NSAID-induced Ulcer: An Antioxidative Trail Weaved with Immunomodulatory Effect, Evid Based Compliment Alternat Med. 2011; 2011: 146808 

106. Sairam K et al; Antiulcerogenic effect of methanolic extract of Emblica officinalis: an experimental study, J Ethnopharmacol 2002 Sep; 82(1):1-9

107. Mehmood MH, Siddiqi HS, Gilani AH; The antidiarrheal and spasmolytic activities of Phyllanthus emblica are mediated through dual blockade of muscarinic receptots and Ca2 + channels, J Ethnopharmacol 2011, 133(2): 856-865

108. Bhakta Prasad Gaire, lalita Subedi; Phytochemistry, pharmacology and medicinal properties of Phyllanthus emblica Linn., Chinese Journal of integrative Medicine December 2014

109. Guo X, Ni J, Liu X, Xue J, Wang X; Phyllanthus emblica L. fruit extract induces chromosomal instability and suppresses necrosis in human colon cancer cells, Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2013; 83(5): 271-80

 110. Sidhu S, Pandhi P, Malhotra S, Vaiphei K, Khanduja KL; Beneficial effects of Emblica officinalis in L-arginine-induced acute pancreatitis in rats, J Med Food 2011; 14(1-2): 147-155

111. Sharma A, Sharma MK, Kumar M; Modulatory role of Emblica officinalis against arsenic induced oxidative stress in Swiss albino mice, Chem Biol Interact. 2009 Jun 15; 180(1): 20-30

112. Banu SM, Selvendiran K, Singh JP, Sakthisekaran D; Protective effect of Emblica officinalis ethanolic extract against 7,12-dimethylbenz(a) anthracene (DMBA) induced genotoxicity in swiss albino mice, Hum Exp Toxicicol 2004 Nov; 23(11): 527-31 

113.Shivananjappa MM, Joshi MK; Influence of Emblica officinalis aqueous extract on growth and antioxidant defence system of human hepatoma cell line (HepG2), Pharm Biol 2012 Apr 50(4): 497-505

114. Chen KH, Lin BR, Chien CT, Ho HC; Emblica officinalis Gaertn. Attenuates N-nitrosodiethylamine-induced apoptosis, autophagy and inflammation in rat livers, J. Med Food 2011 Jul-Aug, 147(7-8): 746-55.
115. Singh MK, Dwivedi S, Yadav SS, Sharma P, Khattri S; Arsenic-induced Hepatic Toxicity and Its Attenuation by Fruit Extract of Emblica officinalis (Amla) in Mice, Indian J Clin Biochem 2014 Jan 29(1):29-37.

116.Anilkumar KR, Nagaraj NS, Santhanam K; Reduction of hexachlorocyclohexane-induced oxidative stress and cytotoxicity in rat liver by Emblica officinalis gaertn, Indian J Exp Biol 2007 May: 45(5)

117. Reddy VD, Padmavathi P, Varadacharyulu NCh; Emblica officinalis protects against alcohol-induced liver mitochondrial dysfunction in rats, J Med Food 2009 Apr 12(2): 327-33 

118. Zhong ZG et al; Progallin A isolated from the acetic ether part of the leaves of Phyllanthus emblica L. induces apoptosis of human hepatic ellular carcinoma BEL-7004 cells by up-regulation of Bax expression and down-regulation of Bcl-2 expression. J Ethnopharmacol 2011 Jan 27: 133(2): 765-72

119. Tasduq SA, Kaisar P, Gupta DK, Kapathi BK, Maheshwari HS, Jyotsna S, Johari RK, Protective effect of 50% hydroalcoholic fruit extract of Emblica officinalis against antituberculosis drugs induced liver toxicity, Phytother Res 2005 Mar 19(3): 193-7   

120. Tasduq SA, Mondhe DM, Gupta DK, Baleshwar M, Johri RK; Reversal of fibrogenic events in liver by Emblica officinalis (fruit), an Indian natural drug, Biol Pharm Bull 2005 Jul; 28(7): 1304-6

126.  Chen TS et al. Efficiency of epigallocatechin-3-gallate and Amla (Emblica officinalis) extract for the treatment of diabetic-uremic patients, J Med Food 2011 Jul-Aug 14 (7-8): 718-23

127. Chen TS, Liou SY, Chang YL; Supplimentation of Emblica officinalis (Amla) extract reduces oxidative stress in uremic patients, Am J Chin Med 2009; 37(1): 19-25

128. Rupal A. Vasant, A. V. R. L. Narasimhacharya; Alleviatory effects of Emblica officinalis G. as a food supplement in fluoride induced hyperlipemia and oxidative stress, International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical sciences Vol 4, Suppl 1, 2012

129. Rupal A. Vasant and A. V. R. L. Narasimhacharya; Amla as an antihyperglycemic and hepato-renal protective agent in fluoride induced toxicity, J pharm Bioallied Sci. 2012 Jul-Sep; 4(3): 250-254

130.D’souza JJ, D’souza PP, Fazal F, Kumar A, Bhat HP, Baliga MS; Anti-diabetic effects of the Indian indigenous fruit Emblica officinalis Gaertn: active constituents and modes of action, Food Funct Apr 5(4): 635-44  

131. Rao TP, Sakaguchi N, Juneja LR, Wada E, Yokozawa T; Amla (Emblica officinalis Gaertn.) extracts reduce oxidative stress in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats, J Med Food 2005 Fall: 8(3): 362-8

132. Nain P, Saini V, Sharma S, Nain J; Antidiabetic and antioxidant potential of Emblica officinalis Gaertn. leaves in streptozotocin-induced type-2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) rats, J Ethnopharmacol 2012 Jun 26:142(1):65-71
133. Yokozawa T et al; Amla (Emblica officinalis Gaertn.) attenuates age-related renal dysfunction by oxidative stress, J. Agric Food Chem 2007 Sep 19; 55(19): 7744-52 

134. Adis Tasanarong, Supranee Kongkham, Arunporn Itharat; Antioxidant effect of Phyllanthus emblica extract prevents contrast-induced acute kidney injury, BMC Complimentary and Alternative Medicine 2014, 14:138

135.Verma R, Chakraborty D; Emblica officinalis aqueous extract ameliorates ochratoxin-induced lipid peroxidation in the testis of mice, Acta Pol Pharm 2008 Mar-Apr 65(2):187-94

136. Dutta AL, Sahu CR; Emblica officinalis fruits extract ameliorates reproductive injury and oxidative testicular toxicity induced by chlorpyriphos in rats, Springerplus 2013 Oct 17 2: 541    

137. Mahata S, Pandey A, et al. Anticancer activity of Phyllanthus emblica Linn. (Indian gooseberry): inhibition of transcription factor AP-1 and HPV gene expression in cervical cancer cells. Nutr Cancer 2013; 65 Supl 1: 88-97

138. Rosarin FS, Arulmozhi H, Nagaraian S, Mirunalini S; Antiproliferative effect of silver nanoparticles synthesized using amala on Hep2 cell line, Asian Pac J Trop Med 2013 Jan: 6(1): 1-10  

139.Waraporn Yahayo, Athicom Supabphol, Roongtawan Supabphol; Supression of Human Fibrosarcoma Cell Metastasis by Phyllanthus emblica extract in vitro APJCP 2013.14.11.6863

140. Baliga MS, D’souza JJ; Amla (Emblica officinalis Gaertn) a wonder berry in the treatment and prevention of cancer, Eur J Cancer Prev 2011 May 20(3): 225-39  

141. Haque R, Bin-Hafeez B, Ahmed I, Pandey S, Raisuddin S; Protective effects of Emblica officinalis Gaertn. in cyclophosphamide-treated mice, Hum Exp Toxicol 2001 Dec 20 (12): 643-50

142. Ngamkitidechakul C, Jaijoy K, Hansakul P, Soonthornchareonnon N, Sireeratawong S; Antitumour effects of Phyllanthus emblica L. : induction of cancer cell apoptosis and inhibition of in vivo tumour promotion and in vitro invasion of human cancer cells, Phytother Res 2010 Sep; 24(9): 1405-13

143. Suresh K, Vasudevan DM; Augmentation of murine natural killer cell and antibody dependent cellular cytotoxicity activities by Phyllanthus emblica, a new immunomodulator, J Ethnopharmacol 1994 Aug; 44(1):55-60

144. M.B. Kavita, Mallika K. J. Amalaki (Indian gooseberry): An Ancient Food Suppliment, IJRAP 4 (1) Jan-Feb 2013


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